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Had a melonoma removed from leg. Having fishy smell. Is that an infection?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2009
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I had a melonoma removed from my leg..When I was changing the dressing today it smelled fishy..Is that an infection?
Posted Sat, 18 May 2013 in Infections
Answered by Dr. Shoaib Khan 3 hours later
Hello ma'am and welcome to XXXXXXX

Thank you for writing to us.

First of all, I would request your co-operation in clearing a few queries of mine.
Have you been changing your own dressings? If yes, for how long? Were you instructed the right technique by a healthcare professional? And do you follow a sterile method of cleaning and re-dressing the wound? Is this the first time you have experienced an odour from your wound? Are you sure this is not from any medication being applied? Are you on antibiotic coverage?

It is difficult to say whether or not your wound could be infected, but the presence of a foul-smelling odour certainly is a sign of an infection, although this is normally seen in earlier stages of wound healing. Let me list a few more signs of an infected wound for you, just for your information. They are:
-Localised heat
-Localised pain
-Redness around the wound
-Foul-smelling odour from the wound
-Increased pus or exudate production from the wound
-Change in color of wound
-Delay in healing of wound
-Appearance of sensitive and discolored tissue that bleeds easily

Although a wound can smell a distinct way for a while, and this would be normal, we still have to rule out the possibility of an infection, as this can complicate wound healing.

I would request you to visit a doctor, and get your wound inspected at the earliest. If it is indeed infected, it will be easier to treat in the earlier phases of the infection. I am sure your doctor will assure this.

I hope you found my response helpful and informative. Do write back to me for any further clarifications, I would be happy to help you.

Best wishes.
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